Twenty nine of the 120 species of puffer fish live mainly in freshwater regions of Central Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. They are related to porcupinefish as well as balloonfish, bubblefish and many other of the puffer Tetraodontidae family. All puffers have the ability to inflate themselves, which they typically use as a defense mechanism.
The giant puffer or Mbu pufferfish, also known as Tetraodon mbu, can grow up to 26 inches in length and has its origins in the middle and lower areas of Africa’s Congo River. Most puffers are known to be poisonous to humans and to some prey. They have the unique ability to move their eyes separately from one another and like many other fish, can also change their colors to help them blend into their environment.
Puffer fish are generally slow swimmers but they can move with a sudden burst of speed when necessary. Their pointed spines can choke an unsuspecting attacker. Crustaceans, mollusks and small sized fish are the puffer fish’s main diet.
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